Environmental issues are embedded in a complex mesh of economics, politics, culture, and behavior. Planners and policy makers must understand the human dimensions of these factors in order to solve environmental problems.

Why Study at Iowa

The Environmental Policy and Planning major integrates courses that provide a coherent approach to the study of the human dimensions of environmental problems. Several courses in the School of Urban and Regional Planning are available for undergraduates, and individual environmental classes have been added in other departments such as American Studies. The Department of Political Science offers relevant classes about policy and politics.

Course Work

Students may pursue a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) in this major, which is offered by the UI Department of Geography in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. All students must complete the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences General Education Program.

Environmental Policy and Planning is an interdisciplinary major that draws courses from Geography, Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, and other disciplines. Work for this major includes introductory courses, methods courses, intermediate courses, and a track. Students choose one of two tracks: planning or policy, and course work required for the major depends on the student's choice of track. The Planning track has courses primarily in Urban and Regional Planning and Geography. Courses in the Policy track focus on Political Science and Geography. Both tracks have relevant courses in Anthropology.

See Environmental Policy and Planning in the UI General Catalog to learn more about the major and graduating with honors.

Admission Requirements

Students in this major need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Admission Requirements Tabs

Student Opportunities

In addition to more than 600 student organizations, Iowa students choose from multiple study abroad programs and Undergraduate Research Opportunities.

Faculty, Facilities, and Resources

The major is managed within the Department of Geography, but also has an advisory panel with representatives from Anthropology, Geography, and Political Science and a panel chair from Geography.


Iowa graduates have job placement rates ranging from 86-100 percent, depending on their area of study, and our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.


The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships.

Application Process

Application Process Tabs

Apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.


Environmental Policy and Planning (BA)
Environmental Policy and Planning (BS)
Environmental Policy and Planning
Honors Courses
Four-Year Graduation Plan